On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent along the Western Front. The First World War had effectively ended. In addition to permanent memorials these Fields of Remembrance in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin commemorate this important centenary and honour the New Zealanders who served in a conflict which touched every community. Below, just some of the 18,277 crosses in the Auckland Domain which represent every NZ soldier killed in World War One.
On a sunny afternoon, in a peaceful country, a tiny mind can’t comprehend the reality memorials like these represent; and either can Alfie.
My Mum never knew her Grandfather who died on the battlefield in the last few weeks of World War One. Although born in Australia, of German emigrants, he served for NZ where he had settled and married.
He fought for King, Country and Empire against, possibly, his own distant relatives. The world is a strange place.
In Memory of Private ERNEST THEODORE BOCK who died age 37 on 12 September 1918
29609, New Zealand Machine Gun Battalion
Husband of Isabella Jane Bock, of 19 Russell St., Linwood, Christchurch. Born in South Australia.
Remembered with honour; GREVILLERS (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL
The words of another WW1 Veteran, heard in Roger Waters song “The Ballad of Bill Hubbard", perhaps best sum up this conflict, many conflicts;
“At the end of any war, everyone sits around a table and comes to some agreement. Why don't they do that before the war instead?”
Alf Razzell, Royal Fusiliers, WWI